The First Debate

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As I write this column, I’m waiting impatiently for the first debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama.

More than 50 million Americans were expected to watch the debate in Denver on Wednesday night, and you have probably seen it by the time you read this.

I don’t know how it turned out, though The New York Times headline on Thursday probably read something like “St. Barack Slays Rich, Out-of-Touch Mormon Profiteer.”

But it’s not too important that the mainstream liberal media have tried to pre-ordain their guy as the winner. And what Romney specifically said or didn’t say on any given subject won’t matter that much either.

It was much more important that Mitt looked and acted presidential and showed us that he can be the leader we need to replace the incompetent we have in the Oval Office.

I expected Romney to do that in Denver, and pray that he did. I hope also that he came out swinging and never let up. I hope he went on the offensive. Because it’s not his economic policies that are destroying America. It’s Barack Obama’s.

In 1980 Ronald Reagan had a similar challenge when he set out to unseat an incompetent incumbent. My father proved during his first debate with Jimmy Carter that he was capable of leading the country out of the foreign and domestic wasteland Carter had created.

And then, at the end of the second debate, just a week before Election Day, my father may have won his ticket to the White House when he urged Americans to ask themselves a simple question before they voted:

“Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

My father went on to ask a series of questions:

“Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we’re as strong as we were four years ago?”

Mitt Romney could ask the American people the same questions today.

“Are you safer than you were four years ago? Do you feel safer about your job? Safer about your mortgage? Safer about the economy? Safer about your retirement or health care?

“And based on what we’ve just witnessed in the Middle East, where one of our ambassadors was killed by terrorists and Obama’s foreign policies continue to fail, do you feel safer today against international terrorism?”

The honest answer to all of the above would be “No.”

America, it’s time to wake up. It’s time to get a new leader. Four more years of Barack Obama’s failures will not make us or our country better off or safer, no matter what first lady Michelle Obama thinks.

The other day in Ohio she was telling a crowd of Democrats that they have to fight to keep the country going in the direction it’s going.

“Are you with me?” she asked her husband’s mindless idolaters.

Was she kidding? Why in the world would you fight to keep the country going in the direction we are going when the direction we are going is downhill?

We can’t afford to wait another four years and hope that things get better. As I said last week, it’s time to get mad.

It’s time to move forward and upward — not backward. America needs to come together Nov. 6 and make the right choice — for our own good and the good of the world.

*****

This article originally appeared on Townhall.com on Sep 30, 2008

Author

  • William Rusher

    William A. Rusher, a Distinguished Fellow of the Claremont Institute, was the publisher of National Review magazine from 1957 to 1988. A prominent conservative spokesman, Rusher gained national recognition over forty years as a television and radio personality. Since 1973, his syndicated column "The Conservative Advocate" has appeared in newspapers across the U.S. He is also a prolific author and lecturer, with five books and numerous articles. His notable works include "The Making of the New Majority Party" and "The Rise of the Right." An influential political activist, Rusher was instrumental in the 1961 draft of Barry Goldwater for the 1964 Republican nomination, which reshaped the Republican Party and continued under Ronald Reagan. He graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School, served in the Air Force during World War II, and worked at a major Wall Street law firm. He also served as associate counsel to the U.S. Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee before joining National Review. In 1989, Rusher became a Distinguished Fellow at the Claremont Institute, continuing to write and advise from his home in San Francisco. He remains active on various boards, including the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs, National Review Inc., and the Media Research Center.

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